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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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Archive for the ‘Project Gutenberg’ Category

7-12-08 Python Spam! WONDERFUL SPAM!

Posted by Sean on July 12, 2008

Well, since the subject was Python

BICYCLE! REPAIR! MAAAAAAAAAAAN! “See how he uses a spanner to tighten that nut!”

Courtesy of pipes90.

It’s the 127th Running of the Twits at Hurlingham Park in Upper Class Twit of the Year. They remind me of a certain Wooster in a certain series of books

Courtesy of rylxyc.

Tonight on It’s the Mind, Michael Palin is driven slowly insane with deja vu, that extraordinary feeling that he’s lived through something before, that what is happening now has already happened tonight on It’s the Mind, Michael Palin is driven slowly insane with deja vu, that extraordinary feeling that he’s lived through something before, that what is happening now has already happened tonight on It’s the Mind…

Courtesy of Benanddonner1.

All that deja vu must have done something to poor Michael because, now, his brain hurts! And John Cleese almost makes him lose it!

Courtesty of uesrname5.

But what would Python be without some Terry Gilliam animation? Here’s The Killer Cars et al.

Courtesy of Rekkarfox.

Posted in From Sean, Funny, Happy Media, Mailing List, Project Gutenberg | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Free Books

Posted by shanoah on March 21, 2008

Well, while I haven’t read The Swoop, Jeeves isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of PG Wodehouse, either. Wodehouse was a very prolific author, and wrote quite a number of short stories. I’ve read several of his books, and I’ve got a few of of his short stories.

It may also interest you to know that he was one of Douglas Adams major influences, and, in fact, a few phrases that you may think of as distinctly Adams phrases are actually from Wodehouse (though, naturally, I can’t think of any of them at the moment).

And I’ve spent a decent amount of time with Project Gutenburg. There are all sorts of classic books there:

They have lots of good stuff, but for all that, after a while you start getting tired of classical works, and want to read some good contemporary fantasy or science fiction, if you’re anything like me. It’s all in knowing where to go.

You see, here is proof that Baen is the coolest book publisher around. They have a free book library of their own. Not only that, but they have included cds with large collections of books by their authors with several of their hardcover books.

Browsing through their free library, you’ll find authors like:

and books like:

  • The Lark & the Wren
  • Born To Run
  • The Shadow of the Lion
  • Werehunter
  • Honor of the Queen (indeed, most of this series)
  • Med Ship
  • Beserker Throne
  • Wizards Bane & Wizardry Compiled
  • 1632
  • Telzey Amberdon
  • The Multiplex Man
  • and quite a number of others

And the cds include books not in the free library, like “The Cold Equations“, a short story collection with the classic story of the same name included.

It’s also of note that Tor currently has a deal going on where if you sign up for their free newsletter, you get a free book a week for a while, as a promotional thing.

And some authors have been nice enough to put their books online themselves. For example, “A Bad Spell In Yurt”, a fun fantasy novel by C Dale Brittain which I’ve owned in paperback for a long time, got put on the web by the author when it went out of print. I’d offer a link, but the authors web page seems to have disappeared. If it resurfaces, I’ll post a link here.

And of course, there’s always Cory Doctorow, who releases his books on his website, as well as in paperback. But then, readings long been an obsession of mine, and I could go on for quite a while. We’ll probably be back to the usual flow of music, youtube videos, and things the internet was meant for tomorrow…

(Not kid-safe, work safe, or for people of delicate sensibilities)

Posted in Blogs, bulldada, free stuff, From Shanoah, I'm probably going to hell for this, Project Gutenberg | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

3-20-08 P.G. Wodehouse – The Swoop!, or How Clarence Saved England

Posted by Sean on March 21, 2008

Gonna try something a little different here today.

P. G. Wodehouse died 33 years ago, before the War on Terror, even before Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”. But he divined much of the silliness that we’re living under back in 1910, seven years before the Great War that caused almost all of the problems that the world is suffering from. You might know Wodehouse better for his “Jeeves” stories (if you know him at all). But I got introduced to the man recently with The Swoop!, or How Clarence Saved England: A Tale of the Great Invasion.

According to Wikipedia (which means it must be wrong – woop!), Wodehouse’s novel was a satire on the “then-popular” genre of “invasion literature“, which was all about an invading army or force landing unopposed on a nation’s shores; the name The Swoop! is apparently based on a 1909 novel about a German invasion of England called Swoop of the Vulture, which is even mentioned in this novel.

In The Swoop!, England has abolished its army, so of course it’s invaded another country – or rather, by nine other countries, who all decide to invade on the same day:

Full details were given in the Press. It seemed that while Germany was landing in Essex, a strong force of Russians, under the Grand Duke Vodkakoff, had occupied Yarmouth. Simultaneously the Mad Mullah had captured Portsmouth; while the Swiss navy had bombarded Lyme Regis, and landed troops immediately to westward of the bathing-machines. At precisely the same moment China, at last awakened, had swooped down upon that picturesque little Welsh watering-place, Lllgxtplll, and, despite desperate resistance on the part of an excursion of Evanses and Joneses from Cardiff, had obtained a secure foothold. While these things were happening in Wales, the army of Monaco had descended on Auchtermuchty, on the Firth of Clyde. Within two minutes of this disaster, by Greenwich time, a boisterous band of Young Turks had seized Scarborough. And, at Brighton and Margate respectively, small but determined armies, the one of Moroccan brigands, under Raisuli, the other of dark-skinned warriors from the distant isle of Bollygolla, had made good their footing.

(snip)

England was not merely beneath the heel of the invader. It was beneath the heels of nine invaders.

There was barely standing-room.

Now, it wouldn’t be a good invasion story without a determined resistance, right? And there is, led by the steely-eyed Clarence Chugwater – Boy of Destiny! And Boy Scout! In other words, it’s as preposterous as the football team fighting off an invading army or a lone secret agent saving the world from terrorists

Want to know the best thing? I got this book off of Project Gutenberg, which has free books for the taking (or download). They have 20,000 books available for free and immediate download and another 80,000 or so available through their affiliates. Now, the reason they can do this is because the books are all out of copyright and are public domain, which means a) they were mostly published before Ernest Hemingway and b) they read like they were published before Ernest Hemingway.

But, hey, it’s free books. So if you’ve a hankering for Mark Twain, E. A. Budge or the Brothers Grimm, you could do worse.

The Swoop!, or How Clarence Saved England
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/7050

(Oh, and if Wikipedia is wrong so often, why do I use it in this blog? Simple: because Encyclopædia Britannica is a pay site. It’s great if you can afford the $69.95 annual fee, sucks if you’re a part-time unpaid blogger)

Posted in free stuff, From Sean, Project Gutenberg | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »